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Subject: Re: Flying an Octopus....WOW!
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 08:32:14 -0500
From: AeraDeco(at)

Hey there, all. I also recently checked out "Flying an Octopus", and I found it 
to be a very unique insight into the more massive projects we all wish we had a 
client approach us to do. 

Unlike a lot of other balloon videos, this one did not have that "low-budget" 
feel to it. The lighting and technical aspects were very good, and some of the 
shots were unforgettable (such as the final resting place of the Octopus...if 
that's not a portfolio shot, I have NEVER seen one!). In addition, the video had 
some enjoyable "side-bars" (most of them featuring Todd and Don). It definitely 
conveyed the enjoyable side to working long hours in a field that you love and 
are passionate about. 

On the menu option, there are also some very good step-by-step instruction 
segments on how to do many of the techniques in order to do that kind of work. 
Admittedly though, I would have liked to have seen those more integrated into 
the body of the movie. 

While it was a great video for any balloon professional, twister or decorator, 
to own, the videographer side of me had a few other opinions. I was disappointed 
that in one shot they're showing lights being assembled so they can work, and in 
the next it seems like over half the octopus is already built! It also seems 
like more time is spent showing the construction of the accent pieces rather 
than the octopus itself. I think many advanced twisters would have liked to have 
seen more of the creation of the creature. 

I also would have liked to have seen more of Larry in the video. After all, it 
was HIS baby. With no disrespect to Don, Royal, Todd or anyone else who worked 
on the project, I would have liked to have seen more of those "reflection" 
pieces while things are being worked on. It would have provided a unique insight 
into how the designer approaches a project such as this while everything is 
underway because as we all know, things can go wrong at any time. It would have 
been great to know more about what was going through his mind and possibly a few 
less "silly side-bars". 

There is also one more thing. At three different times in the video, crew 
members perform potentially dangerous acts that would make any insurance agent 
cringe! One of them can be easily explained by something that simply didn't make 
the editing cut, but the other two are flat out risky. I wouldn't have mentioned 
this here, but with newbies who might purchase the video it needs to be said. I 
don't wish to go into them publicly, but any veteran out there will tell you 
there were a few major "no-no's" going on. 

Overall, it was a really great film. It was terrific to see Larry's dream 
actually take flight after all these years as well as the wonderful team of 
professionals who worked so hard to make it a reality. My question is could he possibly top it? :) 

Steve Jones
Aeration Decorations
Cincinnati, Ohio
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